Winter Park armed standoff case could go to trial starting Monday |

Winter Park armed standoff case could go to trial starting Monday

Drew Munro
Sky-Hi News
Grand County, CO Colorado

Prosecutors and defense attorneys for the man accused of holding police at bay in an armed standoff in Winter Park must agree to a plea deal by May 14 or the case will proceed to trial on Monday, May 17.

The court set that deadline and “advised parties not to show up on the morning of the trial with a plea agreement, unless the defendant is going to enter a guilty plea on all charges at that time,” according to a notation in the case file in District Court at Hot Sulphur Springs.

Brian Wilson, 53, of Denver, faces charges stemming from the Thanksgiving 2008 incident that include five counts of attempted 1st degree murder, six counts of felony menacing, two counts of obstructing a police officer, three counts of prohibited use of a weapon, one count each of obstructing a highway, driving under the influence, DUI per se, and five sentence enhancers for committing crimes of violence.

He pleaded not guilty to all counts in December 2009 after more than one year of hearings and court proceedings, including a proposed plea deal that was rejected by the judge and charges that were upgraded from assault to attempted murder.

Defense attorneys have filed a barrage of motions in the case since December. Among the defense motions rejected this week by Judge Mary Hoak were a motion to continue the case beyond the trial scheduled to begin Monday, a motion to suppress all physical evidence and statements made by the defendant at the crime scene prior to him being taken into custody by officers, and a motion to compel officers involved in the incident to turn over their personnel records to defense attorneys.

Last year, a defense petition requesting that Hoak recuse herself from the case was rejected.

Hoak has ordered that the jury, if seated, be sequestered for the duration of the trial with no access to television, radio or other media, and an order not to discuss the case with anyone.

The incident

The charges against Wilson stem from an incident on Thanksgiving night 2008 during which police say Wilson threatened them with a loaded .45 caliber semi-automatic handgun for three hours while drinking heavily in his car, which blocked U.S. Highway 40 for the duration of the incident.

The standoff ended when police shot Wilson with a non-lethal “beanbag” round from a shotgun, which knocked him to the ground, according to the affidavit for Wilson’s arrest. During the ensuing struggle to apprehend the suspect, the affidavit says Wilson “indiscriminately” discharged four rounds from the pistol in close proximity to the officers.

Wilson’s defense attorneys have argued that Wilson intended to harm no one other than himself and that the attempted murder charges, among others, are inappropriate.

Each attempted-murder count, without the sentence enhancers, carries a presumptive minimum sentence of 8 years in prison and a $5,000 fine and a presumptive maximum of 24 years in prison with a $1 million fine.

The sentence enhancers, if applied, require a sentence at least midway between the minimum and maximum presumptive sentences.

The trial is scheduled for nine days, May 17-May 28, excluding May 27.

– Drew can be reached at (970) 887-3334 ext. 19600 or at

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.